Prime po­si­tion for lake­front

Central Otago Mirror - - FOOD FOR THOUGHT - AT­MOS­PHERE: FOOD: SER­VICE: VER­DICT:

The Grille is a mas­sive new restau­rant in prime po­si­tion on Queen­stown Bay with ex­pan­sive win­dows giv­ing su­perb views of the street ac­tion and the lake­front.

When we ar­rived for lunch there were few other diners and we were de­lighted to se­cure one of the few win­dow ta­bles.

In­side we found a so­phis­ti­cated, semi-in­dus­trial in­te­rior.

Leather bound seats at booth ta­bles, a semi-pri­vate ta­ble sur­rounded by ceil­ing-high wine racks and an open air kitchen added to the at­mos­phere.

The menu changes for break­fast, lunch and din­ner but we no­ticed that each menu con­tains lots of op­tions - from the eas­ier-on­the-wal­let op­tions such as open sand­wiches ($16 to $17) and burg­ers ($22 to $28) for lunch to higher end steak frites ($35) for lunch.

Jo had the cray­fish meat­balls with tagli­atelle, tomato and lo­cal saf­fron broth and mar­i­nated cour­gette ($32) and loved the flavours, es­pe­cially the zing of the meat­balls cut­ting through the

sauce.

While ac­cept­ing the cray­fish is a del­i­cacy she would have loved more and found the pasta in sauce quite dif­fi­cult to eat.

Some crusty bread would have mopped up the re­mains nicely.

Dasha’s moules frites (green­lip mus­sels in white wine, cream and gar­lic, with chips and aioli - $23) came as a large por­tion in de­li­cious gar­licky sauce.

The dish ar­rived with french fries, which she con­sid­ered a nice Kiwi touch, but would have liked the op­tion of a salad as an al­ter­na­tive.

It was a fill­ing meal ac­com­pa­nied by torn fresh bread.

In her on­go­ing ef­fort to find the world’s most per­fect seafood chow­der, Deb­bie or­dered the soup de­scribed as ‘‘Eichardt’s Leg­endary’’ seafood chow­der, served with hot sour­dough, wakame and lemon ($26).

Big things were ex­pected.

The creamy soup was per­fect and the hid­den scal­lop, prawn, mussel and fish bits were a de­light to find.

How­ever, the chewy wakame didn’t ap­peal and the ad­di­tion of spinach to the soup was a bit awk­ward to eat.

Over­all, a fill­ing and sat­is­fy­ing meal.

Staff were brisk and smart and on the ball.

We were given a friendly and per­son­able in­tro­duc­tion and ser­vice was at­ten­tive, with our wa­ter glasses filled reg­u­larly.

There was a de­lay in our wine ar­riv­ing but over­all we were im­pressed.

A wel­come new ad­di­tion to Queen­stown’s restau­rant scene, with the abil­ity to cater com­fort­ably for a cou­ple of friends on an easy lunch, a ro­man­tic din­ner or large group din­ing. A wide va­ri­ety of eat­ing op­tions en­sures ev­ery­one will be able to en­joy this prime new spot.

JO MCKENZIEMCLEAN

Cray­fish meat­balls at The Grille by Eichardt’s.

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